23 May 2012

Not a 'fair way' to go

We occasionally hear of some very unusual and unfortunate deaths of ringed birds, and the demise of Mute Swan W03598 is no exception. Originally ringed as an adult in September 2000 at St Dogmaels, Cardigan (Dyfed), it was seen in Llanelli (Carmarthenshire) in December 2011 (60 km from St Dogmaels). It presumably spent the winter in the area as it was rather bizarrely struck and killed by a golf ball whilst flying low over Machynys Golf Club, Llanelli yesterday.

It's rare for us to hear of golf-related deaths: a quick check of the database shows at least 12 recoveries attributed to golf balls, including such species as Canada Goose (Surrey), Mallard (Somerset), Kestrel (Dorset), Black-headed Gull (no fewer than seven birds), Swift (Merseyside) and Sand Martin (Tayside)! Even more unlucky was the Barn Owl that died after becoming tangled in golf netting in Devon.

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